What Causes Weight Loss in Rabbits and How to Cure?

By Alberto Roy

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Sometimes it will creep up on you. When you hang around with your rabbit every day, it’s tough to discover the small changes in weight with time or to identify What Causes Weight Loss in Rabbits.

One day you’ll take a look at your rabbit and also notification they seem different, skinnier than they utilized to be. Is your rabbit underweight, as well as should you be fretted?

Substantial weight-loss in bunnies is usually triggered by oral issues or another underlying wellness condition.

Other opportunities include anxiousness, aging, or an incorrect diet. The only means to know the cause is to bring your rabbit to a veterinarian for analysis testing.

From there you will certainly have the ability to treat the problem that is creating your rabbit to slim down. It might need hand feeding your rabbit and providing drug, or it may call for a lifestyle change for your rabbit.

Whatever the reason, it is essential to take actions to assist your bunny as soon as possible because lack of consuming can trigger various other serious conditions, such as GI Tension.

If you are concerned that your bunny is undernourished, see your bunny’s veterinarian for a diagnosis as well as to assist produce a prepare for healthy weight gain.

Just how to recognize a rabbit is underweight

Healthy and balanced adult rabbits are not all the same weight. Type, age, and activity degrees play a large role in identifying the ideal weight of a rabbit. A 4lb Holland Lop rabbit can be just as healthy as a 15lb Flemish Titan.

So, the general weight is not a very good indicator of an under or overweight rabbit. Instead, you’ll require to search for various other check in your bunny’s appearance and also body structure.

If your rabbit is badly undernourished, you can possibly inform simply by looking. They may have a sunken abdominal area and also extremely prominent ribs and foundation.

Nevertheless, that is not always the most exact method to figure out if a bunny’s body fat goes to a healthy ratio. As an example, the fur of long-haired rabbits, like angora bunnies, will certainly conceal any visible indicators of malnourishment.

That’s why the best method to establish if your rabbit is undernourished is by feeling for their ribs, spinal column, and hip bones.

When you feel for your rabbit’s ribs, spine, as well as hips, you must be able to really feel the bones under a thin layer of fat. In a healthy bunny, these bones will feel rounded to the touch.

If your rabbit is underweight, the bones will begin to really feel sharp when you touch them. There is no more a layer of fat securing these bones, so you’ll start to feel just how sharp they are, along with all the bumps as well as ridges.

Signs of dangerous fat burning in rabbits

If a bunny loses way too much weight, they will show other signs and symptoms also. If a rabbit is also far underweight, you might require to help them by readjusting their diet plan, way of life, or screening for any other underlying conditions. Signs that your rabbit has actually lost way too much weight include:

  • Sharp or popular back, ribs, and also hip bones
  • Concave abdominal area
  • Sunken locations around their butt
  • A rough or scruffy coat
  • Small and few poops
  • Absence of power
  • Dropping food from their mouth
  • A hunched posture

Reasons for fat burning in bunnies

Many family pet bunnies go to more of a risk for obesity than they are for being undernourished. Nevertheless, that does not indicate it’s a less hazardous problem.

In general, rabbits reduce weight as a result of incorrect living conditions, an incorrect diet, or various other undiagnosed problems.

Loss of Weight and also Muscle in Rabbits

The most usual hidden conditions that cause fat burning are oral condition, breathing infections and persistent age-related problems such as renal failure and arthritis.

Although not all the problems that lead to weight loss can be cured, several have the ability to be effectively managed, boosting life top quality for your family pet.

Loss of weight and also muscle in rabbits is often a sign of a chronic underlying disease or problem. Parasitical infestation, heart disease, and also setting are simply a few of the causes for this problem.

Symptoms of Loss of Weight and also Muscle in Rabbits

In cases of fat burning, the first symptom is typically a visibly lighter family pet. As the reason for weight-loss is normally discomfort related to a hidden wellness condition you might see other indications of pain such as tooth grinding, hunching, depression as well as a reluctance to be rubbed. Various other symptoms vary relying on the reason for fat burning.

There are many different conditions that may cause weight loss in your pet, these can be caused by:

Pseudo-anorexia– if your animal is dealing with weight loss as a result of this kind of anorexia nervosa they may still have a drive to consume, however, due to an underlying condition are unable to

Real anorexia nervosa– if your pet dog is experiencing this type of anorexia nervosa they might be reducing weight as a result of loss of desire to eat; this is often due to underlying factors that trigger discomfort or tension

Root causes of Loss of Weight and Muscle in Rabbits

There are lots of root causes of weight management in rabbits, these consist of


  • Persistent respiratory infections
  • Neoplasia
  • Persistent problems such as joint inflammation or kidney failing
  • Dental disease
  • Heart disease
  • Parasitical infection
  • Urolithiasis
  • Skin infections such as pyoderma or pododermatitis
  • Social troubles such as loss of a buddy or aggressive cage friend
  • Ecological stress factors such as killers or modification of atmosphere
    Ingestion of toxins

Medical diagnosis of Loss of Weight and Muscle in Rabbits

Your veterinarian will do a complete scientific evaluation on your family pet and also thoroughly examine them for indications of underlying conditions that may be creating fat burning.

She might ask concerns to establish a history for your pet dog; these questions may consist of the speed of weight reduction, possible access to toxic substances, recent social changes, and also other symptoms. When executing a medical examination your veterinarian will pay very close attention to the following:

  • Unusual quantity of gas or stomach masses on palpation
  • Signs of respiratory infection on breast auscultation
  • If your pet is women the vulva must be meticulously checked out for discharge which might suggest pyometra
  • Indications of infection or dermatitis
  • Extreme salivation or malocclusion which might recommend oral disease to be the cause
    Indicators of parasitical infection

Your vet may choose to do following analysis examinations:

  • Radiographs to check out masses, osteoarthritis, spondylitis or other skeletal conditions
    Blood chemistry which can rule out renal and also liver illness, anemia, persistent infection or neoplasia as well as give a health and wellness standard when suggesting analgesia
  • Urinalysis to dismiss urinary system infections or hepatic lipidosis
  • Fecal analysis if your pet dog has a history of diarrhea to dismiss infection
  • Therapy of Loss of Weight and Muscle in Rabbits
  • Your bunny’s therapy will certainly depend on the underlying problem that is triggering the weight reduction. Your rabbit may be require to be admitted to the hospital for treatment.

Oral Disease

If your rabbit is experiencing dental problems he may call for corrective dental therapy under anesthetic.

Liquid Treatment

Liquid treatment may be offered to protect against dehydration and also rehydrate stomach contents. Your family pet will be urged to have liquids by mouth however may likewise be provided intravenous or subcutaneous fluid treatment.


As weight reduction is commonly associated with pain your pet dog may be offered NSAIDs or opioids for pain relief.

Diet regimen

Your vet may go over a gradual change of diets to sustain weight gain and intestinal health and wellness.

An incorrect diet

A lot of the time when animal rabbits are offered an inappropriate diet plan, it’s due to the fact that they receive way too many pellets and it causes weight gain. A diet regimen that results in weight reduction is a lot less common, but it is possible also for well-meaning rabbit caretakers.


As they age, lots of bunnies will wind up slimming down. The majority of this is inescapable because of the loss of muscle mass rabbits experience in old age.

As a result, senior bunnies will be much less active which will further atrophy the muscle mass and cause weight loss.

To counteract this, it will most likely be required to readjust your bunny’s diet regimen when they are older to consist of more calories and protein.

Talk to your veterinarian concerning healthy and balanced ways to raise food intake for senior rabbits and ways you can encourage even more workout as well as activity.

A companion rabbit is grabbing all of the food

If you have numerous bunnies living together, they might have an issue sharing their food. Often one bunny will actively bully the other rabbit.

They might be hostile regarding safeguarding their food and not allowing the various other bunny near the bowl up until after they are ended up.

This will create the 2nd rabbit to obtain less calories than they need to suffer a healthy and balanced weight.

Even if it’s not a situation of intimidation, one bunny may eat substantially faster than the various other one.

In the end, this can cause one bunny to eat greater than they need to and also gain weight, while the other does not get sufficient to consume and also slims down.

If you find yourself in this predicament, you ought to observe your bunnies to see what the issue is.

When you’ve confirmed that bunny is hogging the food, you might require to think about dividing your bunnies during nourishments by tempting them right into separate areas with a fence between them.

Hidden problems

A common cause of unusual weight-loss is some type of surprise underlying health issues. When rabbits really feel discomfort or get sick it will frequently affect their digestion.

They will certainly lose their cravings and consume a great deal less food than they usually would. If the illness goes undiagnosed for some time, this will inevitably cause a harmful loss of weight.

A bunny vet will certainly have to aid you establish what could be triggering your bunny to feel sick given that there are a variety of possibilities. These include:

  • Infection
  • Kidney problems
  • Gastrointestinal pain
  • Cardiovascular conditions
  • Cancer
  • Metabolic Conditions


While it is much less usual, rabbits can likewise acquire bloodsuckers that can cause fat burning. One such organism is called coccidia.

This bloodsucker really lives within the intestinal tracts of lots of rabbits yet is not an issue for bunnies that are healthy and balanced. It can, however, contaminate the liver as well as cause illness and weight-loss in young or otherwise unhealthy rabbits.

Exterior parasites, such as fleas and also termites can create weight reduction in a more roundabout way. By creating a bunny discomfort they can lower the rabbit’s cravings. The bunny will certainly consume much less and drop weight because of this.

Stress and anxiety

Rabbits can get burnt out rather easily. The trouble is when rabbits are persistantly stressed, they’ll come to be anxious and it will influence their cravings. Bunnies that are anxious will certainly be too stressed out to consume, which will certainly cause an unhealthy loss of weight.

If this holds true, the best point to do is aid your rabbit really feel secure in their home atmosphere. Make sure they are separated from various other home animals (like pets and also felines), and also they are put in a silent location of the house, rather than a space bordered by task and noise.

In time, you can work to aid your bunny come to be a lot more confident to ensure that they don’t feel as distressed in their daily life.

Not enough water

If bunnies do not have sufficient water to consume alcohol, they will also lower the quantity that they eat. The majority of the moment this will certainly be because there is not enough water available, not because the bunny is picking to consume alcohol much less.

For example, if they constantly clear their water dish before the end of the day (or flip it while you are away at work) they could additionally consume much less given that they are really feeling parched.

Alternatively, your rabbit may have a water bottle with a sippy spout, however never ever discovered exactly how to utilize it effectively, creating them to drink less than they should.

The very best point to do is ensure your bunny has a big enough water trough to last the whole night and day. Generally, you would certainly wish to get a huge dog-sized bowl, as opposed to a smaller sized one that is marketed towards rabbits.

If your rabbit is a bowl flipper, you can provide your rabbit both a bowl as well as a canteen.

This will certainly make certain that your bunny always has water offered even if they determined to toss a tantrum at some point during the day.

The bunny’s living location is as well warm

Generally, bunnies do not like being hot. Ideally, they would live in temperatures in the 50ºs as well as 60ºs ( ºF), considering that hotter temperature levels can make them really feel stressed out.

In between the stress and anxiety and working out less due to the heat, bunnies will typically have a smaller cravings also. If they are persistantly kept in warm problems, they could start to lose weight.

It’s advised that you maintain rabbits in temperatures of 75º or less, as well as never position them directly in the sun without accessibility to any type of areas where they can get shade.

What to expect throughout a hefty losing period

It’s quite typical for rabbits to shed a bit of weight when they are molting. During this time, the bunny is growing back an entire layer of hair which does momentarily need even more protein for the manufacturing of the hairs of hair.

This is not a radical loss of weight, yet the growth of brand-new hair could need the bunny’s body to utilize healthy proteins from their muscular tissue mass, making them show up thinner general.

However, weight management as a result of molting must not be drastic and it ought to be short-lived. The rabbit’s look ought to go back to regular within 1-2 weeks (however with a new coat of fur).

This small loss of weight is typically unnoticeable going into the cold weather because the brand-new, fluffier coat of fur will conceal the weight-loss. Nevertheless, going into summer season it may show up even worse than it is.

Because bunnies shed the fluffy coat and a percentage of muscle mass at the same time, it will certainly look like a sudden change. As long as your bunny’s actions is normal, there is little need to worry about weight reduction during this moment.

When to visit your veterinarian

If you notice your rabbit has lost significant weight, it’s advised to sign in with your vet immediately.

This is particularly true if the fat burning has actually lingered over numerous weeks, or if you’ve noticed any additional signs of severe weight management, consisting of an absence of power, dropping food, or smaller sized poops.

Often, a bunny is losing weight for different reasons that were mentioned in this post, or as a result of multiple illness. To precisely recognize the fat burning and treat your bunny appropriately, it’s extremely crucial to take the step and look for the guidance of a veterinarian.


For chronic conditions such as congestive heart failure or kidney condition on-going medicine might be offered to support these systems as well as enhance your animal’s life high quality.

Recuperation of Loss of Weight as well as Muscle in Rabbits

The prognosis for an animal suffering from loss of weight can be great to protected depending upon how swiftly therapy was sought as well as the underlying condition.

If your veterinarian presumes that stress was the reason, it is important to readjust your animal’s environment to minimize or totally remove the stressor.

As rabbits are social animals your animal might gain from having one more cage friend.

If your family pet is experiencing condition such as skin infections or abscesses your pet may require further medication and also therapy.

For persistent health conditions it is important that you review a long-lasting discomfort management strategy with your vet to alleviate your animal’s pain and also assistance nourishment.

What kind of therapy to expect?

The therapy for an undernourished bunny will certainly differ depending on the reason for the fat burning.

Some bunnies will only require a corrected diet or various living conditions, however others will certainly require more medical intervention. Depending upon the source, surgical procedure may also be called for.

In most cases, if your bunny is underweight, you should expect to:

  • Syringe feed vital care. Crucial treatment is a powdered food formula that you mix with water to make a mush that you can hand feed a rabbit. Discover more regarding essential care for bunnies.
  • Medication for pain monitoring. Depending on the cause, you might additionally have to provide pain medication to help your bunny’s appetite go back to regular.
  • Minimize anxiety as high as feasible. Help your rabbit stay comfortable in a silent location without way too many disturbances.
  • Follow your vet’s guidance. Your rabbit’s vet will certainly have the ability to give you certain care instructions for any underlying illness or modification in diet regimen.

The significance of annual health exams

Unless it is drastic, weight gain and weight reduction can be tough to find in pet dog bunnies. A lot of the moment it will be a slow-moving adjustment with time that you will not see in your daily life.

That’s why it’s so vital to have a normal veterinarian who can keep a document of your bunny’s total wellness.

Your rabbit vet will certainly keep a document of their weight gradually to ensure that they can quickly spot if there has been any kind of type of uncommon weight reduction.

Once detected, your vet will certainly be able to run some tests and also analyses to identify the source of your bunny’s weight-loss as well as aid you create a plan to motivate healthy and balanced weight gain.

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